THE WEEK OF TRINITY XII – SUNDAY

LESSON: MARK 7:31‒37

How are men to call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? Romans 10:14

The external history of this Gospel or the example it sets before us is good in itself. For here we see how many adopted the pressing need of this poor man as their own need and brought him to Jesus that He should help him. In this action there is set forth an example of both faith and love. It is an example of faith. They had heard that the Lord is good and merciful and helped all who came to Him. The Word, portraying God’s goodness to us, must be heard beforehand and reach our hearts so that we cling to it in faith. Christ’s words must have taught these people these basic facts about God; otherwise, in the absence of that Word, faith and works are also absent.

Although the actual details are not recorded here, we must infer from what actually took place that before these people brought this man to Jesus they must have heard the good news, the Gospel concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, by which they were brought to faith. For the Gospel in its real essence is good news, a good report, not written on paper but promulgated and made known in the world in the living voice. Accordingly, they had no doubt heard that Christ is good, friendly, and beneficial, helping everyone. This was the beginning of their faith.

So you must take a firm grip of the Gospel. You will always find that the good news must first go out and bring us to God. God must lay the first stone or otherwise all is lost. Secondly, they adhered to this good news. They came to Jesus and expected to obtain from Him what they had heard about Him.

SL 11:1516 (2‒4)

PRAYER: The Gospel which you have made known to us, O God, is a message of good news. May this message ever draw us closer and nearer to our Savior and keep us with Him. In His name we ask it, and for His sake. Amen.

Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 4:370-380.